Lois Lowry's Blog


Blueberries for Sal (or whomever)

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 in Uncategorized



Well it is blueberry season. last year we did not get a good crop, but this is the Year of the Blueberry, and this past weekend we had blueberry pancakes and blueberry pie, the berries straight from the field. This is - first (clikc to enlarge) - a photograph of my grandsons, picking (mostly eating) blueberries in a earileir summer; and also a painting by my friend Middy Thomas (who illustrates the Gooney Bird books) of the same boys, same blueberry field. It hangs in the room we call The Fold (family room, office, library, den).

And looking at these does make me remeber Robert McCLosky's "Blueberries for Sal" about a little girl picking with her mom, and around the hill, a bear cub similarly with his mom; and the two little ones get mixed up and with the wrong mothers, if I am remembering it correctly. We have bears here (and there are moose droppings in the field, though I have not yet SEEN the moose, and would love to) so we are sharing the berries for sure; that is what life is like in rural Maine.

So many children's books come to my mind on a day-to-day basis. "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney, who also (like McCLosky) lived here...I think of that book every time my lupine is in bloom.


Here's another painting by Middy; this hangs in an upstairs hall, and is of a friend's dog, the long-dead black lab Elsa.

Middy is currently working on illustrations for a new Gooney Bird book in progress. She called me yesterday just to ask: "Is Gooney wearing underpants on her head in chapter 4?" But I couldn't remember. We both have to go back to the manuscript to check.

In the new GB book, the children in Mrs. Pidgeon's class are learning to write poetry. I've been in e-mail corresondence with Lee Bennett Hopkins, an old friend and poetry expert, and this coming Sunday, Paul Janeczko is comig for brunch...anorher poetry expert and all-around good guy, and he lives not far away.

I wonder ... if I get up and go out at 5 AM or even earlier .. I might see the moose. And what would happen if I give him a muffin.

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N. Monday, 29 November 1999

Oh! Is that the story with the lasagna?

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes! Exactly right! Good for you. I didn't know anyone had ever read it.

N. Monday, 29 November 1999

I read it in a book called Necessary Noise.
So, what do you think you're going to read instead?
Someone I was with at the ALA midwinter meeting found a galley of The Willoughbys and has promised to pass it on to me when she's done! I'm excited!

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Haven't decided. The first chapter of THE WILLOUGHBYS, I think. But that won't use up all the time. And it would be nice to read from something that the bookseller has available, and TW is not yet available. Suggestions welcome!

Erin Monday, 29 November 1999

If you had a lovely Englishman named Nathan as your sommelier, that's my sister's boyfriend! He and my sister both work at Eleven Madison Park. They'll be glad to know you had a good experience.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

"A lovely Englishman named Nathan" sound like a line from a Noel Coward song, doesn't it?
(I'm remembering a NC song that had the passage: "And then there was Phipps, who had very broad hips, and whose waist was exceedingly slim...")
Make me stop.
I don't think we encountered Nathan, because we were in a private room upstairs and he was probably in the main restaurant charming the patrons there.
We DID have a young handsome blond waiter, though, who whispered to me that he loved "The Giver."

N. Monday, 29 November 1999

You could read the story about the Harringtons' daughter. Or one of the parts in A Summer to Die where they're outside picking flowers. Since you can't read the snow story.

Donna Rooney Monday, 29 November 1999

I have taught The Giver in my 8th grade classroom for several years. I have told the students that The Giver will soon be made into a movie and they are exciyed! However, what is the hold up? The deadline seems to be moved quite a bit.
Donna Rooney

Monica Monday, 29 November 1999

Thank you so much for the enthusiastic response to our Newbery choice. I posted about the lunch and linked to this at my blog and also spoke to Colin about you and Carol Otis Hurst. It was great to meet you.

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